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Reminiscence (12A, 117 minutes)
“The past is a bead on the necklace of time.”
I kid you not, this pearl is one of the first lines of a Chandler-esque narration (that’s Raymond, not Bing, although you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise).
And it doesn’t stop there as this attempt at a sci-fi film noir misses the target completely and lands in Who Framed Roger Rabbit territory without the comedy, although there are laughs aplenty to be had from dialogue such as: “She was an idea in a tight dress”, “Memory is the boat that sails against its current and I’m the oarsman” and “Memories are like perfume. Better in small doses.”
Set not too far into the future in a flooded Miami where being ankle deep in water is the best you can hope for, ex navy interrogator Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman) and fellow war veteran Emily “Watts” Sanders (Thandiwe Newton) run a business in which people pay to re-live their fondest memory – think Total Recall in a shallow bath with a tour guide thrown in.
Then one night, just as they are closing up, in walks Jessica Rabbit, well, Rebecca Ferguson actually, a femme fatale nightclub chanteuse with bad news written across her forehead in bright neon letters (not really, of course, that wouldn’t be attractive at all) who can’t even use the excuse it’s because she’s been drawn that way.
Poor old gullible gumshoe of the mind Hugh quickly becomes smitten and when the beautiful Mae mysteriously disappears, obsessed as he discovers the dark truth below the surface. Has he been played, and if so, why?
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan’s sister-in-law, Lisa Joy, the cliches come so thick and fast that you need to remind yourself that this is not meant to be funny.
But with lines like “Always makes promises it can’t keep” and “Dying men always want closure” there’s a straight choice of sniggering or grimacing in pain.
Entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons, Reminiscence is easily forgettable and should be.